In the olden days of long, long ago, when our dinosaurs roamed the land and our mothers were having babies, there was a certain amount of pressure on moms. Mothers were supposed to raise the children with patience and a cheerful air of total domestic fulfillment. In the fantasy, the house was spotless, and a lovely dinner was served every night with a chic apron and a smile. Then came the glorious liberation of women from the home, and all of the sudden there were new pressures. Now moms were supposed to be successful in careers while maintaining close and loving relationships with their kids. Time was somehow divided efficiently between being an equal breadwinner and an involved parent, with board meetings flowing seamlessly into baking brownies for the PTA bake sale.
We pretty much know both those visions are ridiculous, right? But that didn't stop women from feeling pressure to meet that ideal, and carrying around a sense of shame if they fell short. Well, you are in luck ladies, because nowadays there's a new kind of "good mother" and so now you have a whole other set of unrealistic expectations to try and meet!
The new perfect mom? She looks like she hasn't had babies at all. She only gains the teensiest amount of weight during pregnancy, and simply glows the entire nine months. Even in the delivery room, the new good mother looks radiant in her designer birth gown, posing for pictures that could grace Us magazine or be suitable for a classy birth announcement. Once the baby is born, she immediately drops all the weight she gained, without earning a single stretch mark or stomach wrinkle. You'd never know she had a baby, except for the fact that she now has gigantic boobs spilling out of her stylish dress.
Naturally a big part of the new mom pressure springs from the celebrity baby boom, when famous and genetically blessed women with access to nannies and plastic surgeons have their photos plastered everywhere, featured in lovely gowns and heels along with the news that they gave birth only seconds ago. And in other ways, I think this new mom was created by the whole "hot mom" phenomenon, where mothers railed against the idea that having children meant they became frumpy and sexless. But as is the way with so many trends manipulated by people who want to sell you stuff to make you a better you, this one turned around and became an expectation rather than an escape.